Dear Death

Written by for Guyana Current on

On March 19, Sasenarine Persaud - talented Guyanese-born writer - read from his novel Dear Death at Toronto’s Harbourfront Reading Series. Citing an Indian Literary tradition, evident in the Vedic simplicity of the language of his novel, Persaud hinted at some of the more esoteric movements within the body of the novel which mirrored various Yogas.

Set in Guyana, Dear Death, Persaud’s first published novel deals with Dalip, a young Hindu who is trying to reconcile the seemingly conflicting maze of Hindu socio-religious ideals and customs, transplanted thousands of miles from the Indian subcontinent into a jungle of Judeo-Christian values. How Dalip works his way out of this jungle and the jungle of deaths and lives to the clarity and realisation of the Karma Yogi embodied in Gandhi’s eternal last words ‘HAY RAM’ the focus of this unusual novel which Professor Andrew Salkey describes as ‘ once taut and clear, while delivering a true artistic resonance.’

In the question period following the reading, Persaud agreed that the basic difference in philosophy between the East and the West was in the perception in the West that human life was more important than other life forms while in the East, all life were equally important. Yet despite this, when queried about the messages in his work, Persaud pointed out that his main concern was for artistic excellence.